Blog #1,000

My first blog post, 1,790 days ago, was on Christian Marclay’s The Clock.I have posted 999 times since, each somehow related to “my writing process”. Notes on The Bachelor and Hurricane Sandy drew the most traffic. Details of my actual process attracted the least. What’s next?Another 1,000, I guess.

Silent Danger: Icebergs Calving

We hiked along the Ilulissat Ice Fjord Trail on our third day in Greenland. IMG_3169We wanted to go down to a bay but were warned away. IMAG2775I considered this perhaps an overstatement – after all there were no glaciers here and thus no real sense of danger as that captured in this well-known Greenland tsunami video – but we nonetheless heeded the posting and continued along the ridge. IMAG2814A small trail then led down to a secluded cove filled with fantastically delicate forms. We couldn’t resist that. IMG_3333IMG_3334I broke off a piece and tasted the frozen water – cold and clean, a tad salty – and then we climbed a small cliff.

We hadn’t even time to sit when the water suddenly surged – not a tsunami, but a swell of several feet – and crushed everything we had just photographed. (The end of which I caught on video.)Ilulissat Ice CalveIt remained silent throughout – except for the swirling water and ice – as the force that could have dragged us out into the cold washed back and forth and slowly abated. IMG_3332We sat and thought about that.

Icebergs & Glaciers in Greenland

80% of Greenland is covered by snow and ice. IMG_3127It is a mass so big that, if it were to melt, the oceans worldwide would rise seven meters, drowning many coastlines, while Greenland would actually rise. IMG_3129Ilulissat is on the west coast where many glaciers and ice flows meet the ocean, including the Ilulissat Ice Fjord and Eqi Glacier, both of which are major tourist attractions due to the melting ice.IMG_3291 The Ilulissat Ice Fjord is densely packed with icebergs, moving gradually out to sea at a rate of 19 meters per day, producing 35 cubic kilometers of ice every year. IMG_3213It takes almost three hours to pass through the maze of ice by boat – a distance of 5 kilometers. IMG_3301The Eqi Glacier, which is retreating a rate of 15 meters per year, meets the ocean directly, with massive sheets and chunks of ice dramatically calving into the ocean several times every hour. IMG_3387 IMG_3389 IMG_3391 IMG_3392It is a remarkable and sobering event to witness, the sound of which is reminiscent of approaching thunder or a massive door being slammed shut in an empty room.